I'm not a vegan or trying to win the Super Bowl. I'm just a normal human being who likes them for normal human being reasons.
It seems hard to not know who Tom Brady is, but just in case: He's the New England Patriots quarterback gearing up for his ninth Super Bowl appearance.
Dubbed “the greatest quarterback of all time”—thanks to his five Super Bowl wins and other impressive stats, Brady says his high-protein, gluten-free, 100%-plant-based diet helps him stay at the top of his game.
Back in September Brady published a book on his eating and training regimen, which he calls TB12. And he's partnered with the vegan meal delivery service Purple Carrot to make his particular brand of meals available. The line is called, unsurprisingly, TB12 Performance Meal Kits—and per their website, the meals are taken either directly from meals he and his family eat, or are inspired by the TB12 nutritional guidelines.
The thing is—Tom and I play completely different games. And while I fully respect his need to live up to his “greatest quarterback of all time” title, my #workingmom game has a totally different set of rules, plays, and—sorry, Tom—it’s a lot harder to win at.
New Year. New Food. Healthy eating starts here, with the Cooking Light Diet.
His meals won’t help me win at #momlife. But I’m also a normal human being, and I'm eating his TB12 meals for normal human being reasons. Here's why I like them:
I want to be more plant-forward.
I’m an omnivore who loves veggies. Sure, they’re healthy and kinder to the planet, but dang veggies are delicious, too. (You might think that calling something rabbit food is offensive. Not so: I’ll be the first person in line to try it—fork in hand.)
The TB12 meals are jam-packed with veggies—and a variety of them, to boot. One dinner, for example, had artichoke, leek, arugula, and garbanzo bean pasta. In other words, if I didn’t touch a vegetable all day, I’d nearly make up for it come dinner.
Full disclosure: it’s not often that a single vegetable doesn’t cross my plate until dinner, but it’s happened. And if I’ve had an indulgent week (there’s a donut shop near my house that I love, I have a soft spot for chocolate peanut butter cups after 9 p.m., I’m a craft beer fanatic, and living in the South has given me a new affection for fried chicken and buttery biscuits), dialing in on a few plant-forward meals helps me reset: Each TB12 meal kit comes with 3 plant-based dinners, which is perfect for balancing out my week.
I also dig the TB12 meals for their innovative, tasty combination of vegetables: their pumpkin ramen, for example, called for pumpkin and bok choy in a coconut-miso broth, topped with pumpkin seeds, crispy kale, and a sprinkle of hemp seeds. I never would have come up with that on my own.
I’m always game to broaden my palate.
This isn’t for everyone, but I love trying new foods. And new food combinations. But I also have a 2 ½ year old and 5 year old to feed at home. I can promise you that they don’t want a “Detox Bowl” that has mung beans and brown rice topped with avocado kumquat salad and sea lettuce dressing.
But hello, I do! Even better, the meals only feed two. So when my husband and I eat together, there’s rarely any leftovers. That’s not so great for my lunch the next day, but at least it cuts back on wasted leftovers that my kids won’t eat.
Convenience. Please, make my life easier.
You just can’t beat a box of groceries arriving at your doorstep. As someone who looks at recipes all day, everyday, I’d guess that some people would complain that the ingredient list for many of the TB12 recipes is too long. Most of my favorites have 10 or more ingredients. And some of the ingredients are relatively obscure—I’d probably need to shop at a couple different well-stocked supermarkets or health food stores to source everything.
But when all the ingredients (minus oil, salt and pepper) arrives at your door—and in the perfect portion—it doesn't really matter. Plus, all of the recipes I’ve tried have taken less than 45 minutes from start to finish, sometimes only 30.
Add all that together, the convenience, the variety, and the taste—and it's easy to see why the meals are worth it, even if I'm not trying to be 100% plant-based, or trying to win a championship ring. I can get a delicious, healthy, plant-based meal without a lot of work, and go back to winning at #momlife.